When I first heard “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” on the radio, I thought, wow, this song is really, really bad. The second time I heard it I found myself thinking, “Chorus ain’t too bad.” Well, many repeated listenings later—the damned song is everywhere now—I love “Blue (Da Ba Dee).” I figured these fellas, Eiffel 65, couldn’t be much more than one-hit-wonders, though. Sure, “Blue” is a good song, catchy fluff if you will, something that will keep the dance floors alive for a few good months. One of those songs you’re dancing to a coupla years later and ask, “Who did this again?”
But is the album good enough to sustain another hit after the “Blue” phenomenon?
In short: sure, why not. All of the tracks on Europop are fully capable of mainstream success. Eiffel 65 excels at well-crafted electronic paper pop. There’s nothing of any real substance here, just vocoder vocals—remember that Cher song, “Believe”?—and Eurodisco beats throughout.
Sounds cool? It sure does. Wears thin? Of course. It’s an enjoyable album, full of disco and short on depth.
Don’t expect much more than “Blue.” when you first spin the disc. If you’re looking for more than thump-thump-thump and “Move your body / Every, every body,” I would suggest you look elsewhere. From beginning to end, this is pure dance music—nothing more, nothing less. There are attempts at content—the castigation of money on “Too Much of Heaven” comes to mind, as does “Hyperlink,” which covers with very little thought the subject of sex on the Internet—but they are half-hearted at best, the lyrics serving as excuses for pumping rhythms straight from the dance floors of Europe.
One of the most humorous tracks is “My Console,” a song apparently attempting to say something about the video game industry, using the Playstation game console as an example. If the members of Eiffel 65 are trying to make a statement, it’s lost on me. When they start spilling Playstation game titles repeatedly, as excuses for lines and verses, then they end up spelling Playstation over and over-“P-L-A-Y-S-T-A-T-I-O-N! P-L-A-Y-S-T-A-T-I-O-N!”—It’s damned funny. The music is straight from the “Mortal Kombat” soundtrack, and groovy at that, but the lyrics are anything but serious.
There are better moments. “Your Clown” is a lilting electronic cookie of a good Cure song. “Too Much of Heaven” will certainly bring the house down, if ever released.
In the end, however, you’re left with a good dance album thin as Cher’s “Believe.” John Jeys vocals wear on your nerves after a while and you start wishing that he’d turn that damned vocoder off for more than two songs. Can he really sing? Who knows.for most of the album he sounds like a truly inflective robot. His voice becomes just another electronic instrument along with the beats and the bass.
Call it outstanding fluff if you dig the dance floor; otherwise, dig the empty “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” on the radio, and if you’re feet don’t like to move, stay away from Europop.
// Notes from the Road
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